American family

Family secrets: Love Orange, by Natasha Randall, reviewed

The line between obsession and addiction is as thin as rolling paper. Neither are simple and both stem from absence, avoidance or — as Jenny, the dissatisfied housewife in Natasha Randall’s droll debut novel, calls it — life’s ‘marshmallow numbness’. Jenny’s drug? The sticky, sweet-smelling orange glue that seals the intimate letters she receives from a prison inmate called John — ‘just a little lick’ and a liquid warmth surges within her, letting her breathe, making the ground feel solid. But she isn’t the only Tinkley family member with a secret. Which brings us to the question posed by the outwardly forward-thinking Father Brian: ‘What sort of family is this?’